August 20, 1996 in Nation/World

Opportunity Calls, And Calls And Calls

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Teen-age girls of America take note: Your suffering could translate into major bucks.

Two years ago, then-15-year-old Texan Jennifer Scarmardo had a controlling boyfriend and she had acquaintances who called at 2 a.m. after partying all night, leaving her exhausted the next school day.

She developed mononucleosis and had to put her enthusiasm for volleyball on hold.

Then came the device.

A nameless, unique instrument cooked up by her father, Frank, it regulated the time Jennifer Scarmardo could spend on the horn. Made of little more than a lamp timer and a wall plate, it could cut off phone conversations when her curfew hour came.

The newly dubbed Phone Chaperone is making its debut in national catalogs and trade shows. Like telephone services, such devices are expected to flourish in the newly deregulated world of telecommunications, industry observers say.

As for Jennifer Scarmardo, she hopes to turn her experience in phone hell into a career with Dad’s newly founded Phone Chaperone manufacturing business.

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